sloppy mistake-what would you do?


======= Date Modified 04 Dec 2011 14:04:59 =======
Post submission, I'm currently going through my thesis in preparation for upcoming viva. I have spotted a few mistakes but one in particular is playing on my mind. In my introduction I mention a general election which I say was in March when in fact it was February. If it comes up at the viva would you admit that you got the month wrong (still can't understand why I typed March instead of Feb) OR would it be better to be shocked at such a sloppy mistake (which it is) and agree to correct?

What would you do? :-(


to be honest, I think it's a minor minor minor error. Anyone can get the month wrong easily. I would:

a) not worry so much about it
b) make note of the correction to be done
c) don't mention it at the viva
d) if examiner does mention it, just say it was a typo (which it was)


if it makes you feel better, I had one of those sentences too. Say I was comparing red with blue, I said:

"study of blue provided far more infomation than studying the blue alone"

obviously, I meant study of RED provided far more info than blue....

The examiner noticed it (which told me that he really read through my thesis), simply asked me if it was a typo, I said yes, and it went on the correction list, no biggies :)

Avatar for DrCorinne

Hi Ady,

Pink-Numbers is right. No reason for concern. These things happen all the time. I just noticed that in one chapter one of the footnotes is double-spaced. How could I submit it without noticing this?

After I submitted the soft-bound copy I noticed that I wrote the date of 1475 on the caption of a photograph, when in the main text it was 1425. When I saw it I was devastated - I couldn't believe that I didn't notice it earlier!

But no one saw it, and I changed it prior to the submission of the hard-bound copy. I think that it is pretty normal not to see the wood for the trees when you work on something for a long time!


======= Date Modified 04 Dec 2011 15:29:58 =======
Thanks you guys, you're right but I needed to hear it. I just HATE when I do things which I think are sloppy and completely avoidable. That March/Feb mistake has been in the thesis for ages but apropos nothing (I was actually ironing this morning) it suddenly popped into my head, I flicked through the soft-bound copy and yes, there it was:-(


Hi Ady,
firstly good luck withthe prep .. im sure you will do GREAT!! and on the error - dont even loose sleep on that one - its down to a typo anyone can see that and examiners wouldnt pin you to the wall on something like that. I had a blunder where I mentioned that I had discussed something which I hadnt because I had changed a whole chapter!! I literally wanted to die- but all the examiners said was you need to correct that- honestly dont worry!!


Ady, I wouldn't worry about that at all. Just note it, bring it into the viva and if it's raised acknowledge it as already noted. You're being so fine tuned in everything you do I think you'll breeze through your viva, I honestly do.


Hey Ady- totally nothing to worry about! I submitted my thesis in a bit of a hurry and was shocked by the number of errors I noticed when preparing for the viva- normally I am so so careful. In all honesty your examiners probably won't even notice- I had half of my lit review table missing (about 3 A4 sides) and was totally gutted, but neither examiner even noticed lol! I just corrected it before I handed the final copy in! Definitely don't spend time and energy worrying about typos etc, they're not what your examiners will spend time thinking about. Best, KB


Ady, I found silly mistakes and typos in my thesis while I did my viva prep. It just shows that despite several people reading it they still slip through. We are all under so much pressure prior to submission that these errors are to be expected. It really is a minor typo and I would just admit the error if it is mentioned. If it doesn't come up in the viva then just correct it for the final copy. Importantly, you have spotted it now so keep smiling.


My sloppymistake is my graphs. I spent ages getting them right so you could tell which bar was which when printed in black and white (three bars, one white, one grey one black). In the end I photocopied mythesis from one print out, and only realised post submission that when photocopied the black and grey bars look almost identical. Just wish I'd considered this when getting it photocopied but it just never crossed my mind :$ I don't plan on saying anything. My examiners should be able to work it out as the key goes in the same order as the bars, but still is annoying.


Don't know when your Viva is, but I agree with everyone else. I made one or two silly mistakes which were picked up on at the Viva. I'd actually gone over my thesis in PENCIL where I found them, in order that I could acknowledge that they were there and typos in the Viva itself. I could show the examiners that I was already aware of the error. The reason I did them in very light pencil though was because you don't want to highlight to your examiners your mistakes UNLESS they have found them themselves. ;-) It just goes down as a minor correction if they spot it, and they are really not concerned if you have already picked it up.


Thanks all, I know I'm being silly but whatever about typos, I am so annoyed with myself that something so careless slipped through. My external may well not cop it given that he is from a different country but my internal probably will notice it.

Am very annoyed with myself :-s


I would create a list of mistakes that you notice and bring it to the viva. Its better to be honest...